New Decoys I Can't Afford But Will Buy Anyway

You know how they say decoys are made to attract hunters, not ducks? Well, it must be guys like me who the decoy makers are after, because I end up spending a bundle every year on the newest, coolest stuff. I said I'd buy sensibly this year, but just look at the decoys pictured below. It isn't fair! Credit rating be damned, I've gotta have 'em.

Flambeau "Storm Front" mallards
mallard
flam hen

Flambeau says its latest dekes have a special paint that reflects light, including UV light, in the same manner as real duck feathers. At $40 per half dozen (two active drakes and a "skimmer" drake, rester drake, active hen and rester hen), they're priced competitively for flagship decoys.

Final Approach
canvasback floaters
FA Can

FA has three new decoys: canvasback floaters (drake shown above), greenwing teal floaters and field mallard shells. FA came onto the scene in '93 and has increasingly improved its product line. In fact, last year the company unveiled the best pintail decoy I've ever seen:

Final Approach pintail floaters

pintail

Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade mallards
pro grades

"A-ha, we've got you now, Wintersteen! Pro Grades came out last year!" You are correct, fellow addict of the quack, but I'm highlighting them again because I have seen some excellent sales lately. GHG also still makes what is in my opinion the best bargain in waterfowling: Hot Buy mallards.

Greenhead Gear "Hot Buy" mallards
ghg hb

Sure, they don't look quite as good as top-of-the-line dekes, they're a little small and their keels a little wimpy, but they still look better than the highest quality decoys of our fathers' generation and retail for under $40 per dozen. I use them to fill out my spread along the fringes and they are ideally suited to this purpose.

With the broad selection of realistic decoys available, there's simply no excuse these days to use unrealistic decoys. It sure beats the days when men hand-carved and painted their entire spreads. That was tedious, finger-blistering work. All we have to deal with is the pain of an empty bank account and a cranky spouse—both of which I've learned to tune out at will almost entirely.

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